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Comics come alive: 4th annual Kids Con New England wows

Telegraph photo by DEAN SHALHOUP Ten year old Paul Gowern finds out the hard way how outlaws were often punished back in days of yore, when pirates like Gary Tyo ruled the seas and some land as well. Tyo, a member of the Northeast Buccaneers, said he is still working on his "pirate name."

NASHUA – When “Frozen” characters Elsa and Kristoff crossed paths Sunday with a peg-legged pirate named “Captain Jay” toting a real, squawking parrot on his shoulder, they stared for a moment then, when offered the chance to feed the big-beaked bird, took a step back.

“Tiki” did eventually crack the shell and munch on his treat, while Elsa and Kristoff – Isabel Blanchard and Lucas Bussiere – moved on to visit the dozens of vendor booths set up throughout the Radisson Nashua ballroom and side rooms for Sunday’s fourth annual Kids Con New England.

Jay Tucci, the captain, and Tiki, a blue and gold Macaw hailing from the southern isles, were among several members of the Northeast Buccaneers, a pirate entertainment group that “bridges the gap between movie-style pirates and historical reenactors,” who entertained kids and their parents throughout the day long event.

Meanwhile, Paul Gowern, a 10-year-old Manchester resident, suddenly found himself locked in a sturdy wooden pillory device, also known as stocks, a pirate-era method of punishment.

Of course Paul hadn’t committed a crime, and seemed to enjoy his few minutes locked up on display.

Telegraph photo by DEAN SHALHOUP Under the watchful eye of his owner, a pirate who calls himself "Captain Jay," Tiki the parrot crunches his way through the shell of a peanut at Sunday's Kids Con New England convention.

His mom, Ondrea, said it was Paul’s first Kids Con event. “We’re very excited,” she said, noting that Paul’s favorite characters are Marvel’s Ghost Rider and the Cartoon Network regular Skull Dude.

Kids Con New England is the brainchild of Emily Drouin, a children’s comic book artist and author from Raymond.

She said the idea for a child-focused convention came about after organizers of adult conventions noticed how popular their interactive kids’ areas were becoming.

“Our focus is on promoting art education and literacy through family-friendly comics, children’s books, and fun activities,” Drouin said of the event.

Telegraph photo by DEAN SHALHOUP Isabel Blanchard and Lucas Bussiere, straight out of the popular fantasy musical "Frozen" as Elsa and Kristoff, stopped on their way in to Sunday's Kids Con New England convention to learn a little about the life of a pirate from a peg-legged one named Captain Jay, accompanied by his loyal parrott, Tiki.

Telegraph photo by DEAN SHALHOUP Tim Estiloz, an artist and illustrator who took part in Sunday's Kids Con New England convention, greets a couple of visitors to his booth inside the Radisson Nashua ballroom.